All those who work within the construction industry owe the client a duty of care. This duty stems from the construction professional’s area of expertise, whether as an architect, surveyor, engineer or builder, and the job he or she has been contracted to perform – where there has been a breach of duty and loss or injury have occurred it may be necessary for the client to make a professional negligence claims against construction contractors professionals.
Issues of liability become less clear, however, where the negligence has been committed not by the main contractor but by a subcontractor working under its employ.
Healys are experts in dealing with Claims Against Construction Contractors, Contact us today if you feel you have been let down by your contractor or subcontractor. We offer free initial advice on your claim and if you do wish to proceed we offer a “No Win No Fee” service in a form of a Conditional Fee Agreement.
For a long time, following the 1934 ruling of Honeywill and Stein Limited v Larkin Brothers (London’s Commercial Photographers), it was held that the main contractor could be held liable for the negligence of a subcontractor, providing the subcontractor had been employed to carry out hazardous work.
However, in 2008 the Court of Appeal in London heard the case of Biffa Waste Services Ltd and Another v Maschinenfabrik Ernst Hese GmbH and Another and ruled that the “Honeywill rule” should be narrowed to apply in only certain exceptional cases.
The case related to a fire which had occurred as a result of the negligence of welders subcontracted to install a ball mill at a waste disposal depot.
The list of contractors and subcontractors involved in the incident reads is convoluted: the first defendant was contracted to design and build a waste disposal plant, they then engaged a second defendant to design a ball mill, who in turn subcontracted the installation to a third party (a welder) whose negligence caused the fire.
In clearing the original contractor of any liability, the Court of Appeal was critical of the Honeywill ruling and stated that its principle should be narrowed to apply “only to activities that are exceptionally dangerous whatever precautions are taken” – in the case of the welder it was clear that the welding had been carried out in the vicinity of “unwetted combustible material”.
If you have suffered financial loss or personal injury as a result of the negligence of a construction contractor or subcontractor, our professional negligence solicitors can help you proceed with Claims Against Construction Contractors professionals you believe to be liable.
We provide quick, clear and in-depth advice, and, with transparency on costs, can help you make the right decision as to your best course of action.
31st January 2017
Our client, a property developer was in the process of obtaining a property. The case involved two law firms that acted for the buyer & seller. After the transaction was complete, the client discovered that the seller had committed identity fraud and lost a considerable amount of money. Issues included breach of warranty of authority and breach of trust on the part of the solicitors who acted on behalf of the fraudster; the scope of the duty of care of the firm acting on behalf of our clients and whether the clients’ consequential loss of profit was recoverable at law. Continue reading »
Our client divorced with his wife and asked his former solicitors to take on his case. After completing procedures, he realised that the law firm had not protected his interests & assets. Continue reading »
Our client’s claim arose out of the failings of her former solicitors to deal with her divorce. This included the dissipation of assets held by the husband in Hong Kong by way of freezing orders. The claim focused on conflicting evidence between the client and husbands solicitor. Continue reading »
Our client had a previous claim with another law firm in relation to his property being undervalued when sold. Unfortunately our client received poor advice from the previous law firm which resulted in him loosing the initial claim against the mortgagee and valuer. Continue reading »
1st January 2017
Our client needed advice regarding an Under-Lease, and so they approached a firm about their issue. However, our client soon realised that the firm had given incorrect advice. He decided to contact Healys in order to make a claim against the law firm for failure to advise properly in relation to the purchase of an under-lease, the terms of that under lease, the status of the head lessee and rental payment terms. Continue reading »
25th January 2018
David Bailey, Partner in the Dispute Resolution team, discusses the question in the Times Newspaper.
Mediation is generally a cost-effective alternative way to secure dispute resolution. These days, typically in commercial cases, parties arrive legally tooled up with a full set of solicitors, barristers and experts, much as they would for a trial, and act accordingly. Continue reading »